My name is Jane Jeffrey, I live in Newcastle upon Tyne and I have worked with dogs for most of my adult life, qualifying as a veterinary nurse after leaving school and running a successful dog walking business in Newcastle, Feed and Lead, for 14 years until 2014.
Dogs have always fascinated me and I love to observe them playing, interacting with other dogs and people, and generally living life. Canine massage therapy found its way to me due to my feelings of helplessness when seeing dogs, (my own and others), with pain or discomfort – lame, slowing down, unable to perform normal tasks or unwilling to join in play sessions with other dogs.
When dog walking I knew my charges really well and the signs of pain and / or discomfort are obvious to an experienced eye, even when those signs are subtle (sub clinical). (Link See Signs of Pain) So I’d notice everything such as:
• Unusual gait
• Sudden reluctance or inability to jump in and out of the van
• Yelping when touched or being dried
• Reluctant to play
• Slowing down
• Sometimes being depressed, or just ‘not right’
In older dogs it was often due to the gradual onset of arthritis. In other cases their vet would diagnose a ‘pulled muscle’ or ‘soft tissue injury’. Anti-inflammatories / pain relief would appear to solve the problem and alleviate pain in the short term but often it would reoccur, leading me to wonder if there were other ways to resolve these debilitating ‘soft tissue’ issues long term, as they affected the dog’s quality of life so much.
Having had regular massage therapy myself to great effect I started to research canine massage therapy feeling that the right treatment could make a big difference to their overall wellbeing and that’s the least they deserve for all they give us.
I attended 2 different workshops and was very impressed with the one run by Natalie Lenton of the Canine Massage Therapy Centre in Bromsgrove, and with the results this therapy was achieving, which led me to apply and to be accepted onto the Canine Massage Therapy course, the details of which are below.
Qualification & Training
To become a Canine Massage Therapist I completed the 2 year Canine Massage Diploma, externally accredited by Ascentis. The studies, over 800 hours, included:
• Canine Anatomy & Physiology,
• Massage Theory,
• Soft Tissue Injuries,
• Canine Kinesiology,
• Orthopaedic Issues,
• Clinician Skills
During the second year in order to further my massage education and to learn 4 disciplines of massage – Swedish, Sports, Deep Tissue and Myofascial Release (direct and indirect) I completed:
• 12 days of practical hands on experience in Bromsgrove with visiting dogs in addition to retired greyhounds at a local greyhound rehoming centre
• 8 case studies in Newcastle with 3 treatments on each dog